Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.

30 October 2011

Sermon: Matthew 11:12-19

Reformation Sunday — 30 October AD 2011

Sermon Theme: Dancing to God’s Tune

Martin LutherSummary: The text is the alternate Gospel assigned for Reformation Day in the Lutheran Service Book Lectionary. It illustrates man’s ongoing difficulty with receiving Christ at His word. This was one of the major problems Luther faced during the Reformation and it continues to plague us today.

After receiving John the Baptist’s disciples, Jesus sent them back with tangible evidence that He truly was the promised Messiah. He told them to tell John that “the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

John remained faithful but others found offense in both him and Jesus. They wanted to receive God on their terms and rejected both the severity of John’s message and the sweetness of Jesus’ words. They rejected the Law’s absolute condemnation and the Gospel’s full freedom.

Rather than hear the heavenly music of God’s Word proclaimed in full ferocity and in absolute tenderness, they desired to call the tune and have God dance to their music. Rejecting divine judgment of their sinfulness, they instead became judgmental toward Jesus and John.

The sermon applies these words to us today, warning against our own judgmentalism, parochialism, and attempts to receive a sweet and safe Savior. Instead, we hear His lamentations over our sins, accept His condemnation, and repent. We also hear the joyful strains of the Gospel, telling us that Christ lived, suffered, died, and rose in order to forgive our sins and make us children of our heavenly Father and cling faithfully to our faithful God.

We hear anew that the Son has set us free and that we are free, indeed: Free to love God; free to serve our neighbor; free to sorrow; free to celebrate; free to do good to others and to receive the good they do for us. Most of all, we are free of sin, death, and Devil and free of the desire to make God in our own image rather than being remade in the image lost in Eden.

Text: [Jesus said,] “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.

“For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Matthew 11:17“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’

“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’

“Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
Matthew 11:12-19

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Dancing to God’s Tune, preached to the saints of God at Hope Lutheran Chapel, Osage Beach, Missouri.

Other Readings: Psalm 46; Revelation 14:6-7; Romans 3:19-28; John 8:31-36

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Pastor! Trust you and Stef had a great Reformation Sunday :-) Margaret

October 31, 2011 at 12:06 AM  

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